A Week in Britannia

Rugger innit

There is one word on everybody’s lips in the UK right now and this is RUGBY.

I’ll be supporting England, naturally, even though I have France in the sweepstakes. The thing about the UK is that there are loads of peeps from England living in Wales and vice versa and sometimes you’re not too sure who’s supporting what. And then she’s married to a South African, or his mother’s Italian. Who knows who to support?!

I might support Tonga for a bit, only because the dudes are hanging around in Cheltenham and training in the fitness arena and parking their bus up my road. They’re playing a bunch of matches in Gloucester bless them 🙂 Have a quick cider when you can. lads.


“A lot’s changed round here”

That’s what my other half said about Cheltenham town today. I think things have stayed the same more than things have changed. I was so hoping I would find the former neglected/then chain store and pound store land of the lower high street here would be some alternative, hipster, kooky place for us to hang out.

Sadly, it’s not that place, though it has potential to be. I like Cheltenham, but it is an extremely polarised place of class and wealth and culture and non culture. I’m still slightly flummoxed by it. That being said, it’s our third time back in this town, and it’s the best shape I’ve found Cheltenham in since 2000.

Driving on the left hand-side

“Gosh mummy, did you know that you’re on the wrong side of the road?” said wee Harry as as I pulled on to the outside lane of a British dual carriage way. Good for him for noticing and for one moment I had to wonder if we were in for a right motoring mess. 🙂


I don’t think there are magpies in America. I don’t remember seeing one, ever. But apparently they exist on the West Coast.

Pica pica sericea

Well, I wonder if they salute in superstition as one is inclined to do here in Britannia. I’ve been saluting non-bloody stop since I’ve got back – I’m surprised it’s not a driving offence as you have to take one hand off the wheel every bloody time 😉

Cultural Discombobulation Innit!

verb (used with object), discombobulated, discombobulating.

1. to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate:

As in ‘The British expat was completely discombobulated by the return to her own country.’
Yep, that is me right now. It’s been a crazy return already, and I haven’t stopped because tomorrow I start work and there is sooooo much to do!
So, this is what’s occurring, in no particular order:
1. My cats are well happy to be back. They’re looking at me with big yellow ‘thank you’ eyes.
Happy cat!

Happy cat!

2. Harry is super happy to be back too. He loves our little house and our little cabin in our garden and he doesn’t care how small they are because they are his. He also has no idea what a radiator is. So much to learn.
3. I did not know how to fill up with gas (ugh, I mean petrol!) at a British petrol station and had to phone my mum to ask her. Britain, let’s do the pay at pump machines more – it’s so much quicker and prevents me from having to go into the garage shop and buying Cadbury’s Buttons as well. Yes, folks, REAL chocolate!
4. Fish and chips taste like they should do, but they don’t come in paper. Sad news.
No paper, folks

No paper, folks

5. I feel like Gulliver in Lilliput. At first I thought someone had shrunk my house, after all that big American stuff I was used to. Forty eight hours later it just feels normal.
6. People in England are much friendlier than I remembered! Everyone’s so helpful and smiley. Who’d have thunk it? 🙂
7. Some people appear to be disappointed that I haven’t picked up an American accent. I am not Joss Stone FFS!
8. The Gloucestershire accent is making me smile. It’s so bloody West Country – oohaarr!
9. I have only got into the wrong side of the car once. I have yet to drive on the wrong side!
10. Traffic lights. There are lots of them and it sucks that you can’t turn left on red. This needs to happen, Britain!
11. My parents are amazing. They’ve totally helped me out massively!
12. I can’t find any of my Boots or Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s rewards cards and it’s doing my head in. I need my points!
13. I think I appreciate the higgledy piggledy joy of England a little more today than I did yesterday. It will grow on me.
My garden needs some TLC!

My garden needs some TLC!

Cheers y’all! Onwards with the cultural challenges!